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March 6, 2003 Myeloma Minute
03.06.03
What's News
  • OVAC Registration Opens
    The IMF supports the OVAC funding agenda because it is the best hope for increased federal funding to benefit all cancer patients, especially those with an interest in myeloma and other under-funded orphan cancers. See related article by Greg Brozeit "Congress Supports OVAC Agenda."
  • President Bush Unveils Medicare Reform Plan
    Plan proposes a three-part program that includes differing levels of coverage and pharmacy help and a discount drug card.
    • Read related article "Cost Control Methods Will Shape Medicare Plan"
      Bush proposes using private managed care plans to control prescription drug costs. But how Congress directs those plans to control drug spending could ultimately determine what the benefit looks like for seniors, experts say. (from Reuters Health by way of Yahoo news)
    • Read related article "Ross Joins Ds in blasting Bush Medicare plan" about Mike Ross, D-Prescott, Arkansas, who is the only pharmacy owner in Congress, and who criticized it as too meager for senior citizens. (from the Arkansas Times Record)
  • Ohio's secrecy stirs anger:
    Ethicists say hushed smallpox vaccine plan puts patients with compromised immune systems, including bone marrow transplant recipients at risk; officials cite security. (from the Beacon Journal by way of Ohio.com)
  • A Story to Tell
    Velcade is on track and investors are gravitating to its story. At the same time, investors are wondering which drug has the advantage in treating patients with multiple myeloma. Will it be Millennium's Velcade or Celgene's Revimid?
  • Help Us Help You By Completing The IMF Thalidomide Insurance Survey
    The IMF has been discussing thalidomide insurance reimbursement issues and potential solutions with the FDA and Celgene. To take the next step, we need to gather data from patients who have taken thalidomide and/or who were recommended thalidomide but subsequently did not take the drug. Help us help you by completing this short web-based survey at survey.myeloma.org. All individual responses will be kept strictly confidential.

What's New in Myeloma Research:
  • Thalidomide therapy in patients with refractory or relapsed multiple myeloma
    [Article in Japanese]
    Ochiai N, Shimazaki C, Uchida R, Fuchida S, Okano A, Ashihara E, Inaba T, Fujita N, Adachi Y, Nishio A, Nakagawa M.
    Of six refractory or relapsed patients, two responded to thalidomide alone and three of the remaining four patients responded to the combination with dexamethasone.

Advocacy Update:
What's New in Clinical Trials:

We have changed the format of this section to better reflect the mission of the Myeloma Minute, namely to bring you the latest information on pertinent topics. So look to What's New in Clinical Trials in the Minute to bring you news about the opening and closing of trials.

If you would like to browse trials currently open for enrollment, visit the Clinical Trials page of the IMF web site. Among the links, you will find CenterWatch and EmergingMed. The IMF has entered into partnerships with them to assist you in matching trials to your particular patient profile (i.e., stage of disease, previous treatment, how well you are able to carry out the activities of daily living, etc.) and by doing so, increase your chances of being eligible. You can also learn more about clinical trials by reviewing material from the National Cancer Institute.


Quality of Life Update:
  • Preventing Medical Mistakes
    A new study finds that for the elderly, many adverse reactions occurring as a result of errors in taking prescription drugs are preventable. (from CBS News)
  • ASCO Call for Patient Artwork
    The theme of ASCO's meeting this year is Commitment Care Compassion: Honoring People with Cancer. They are enlisting the help of patients, their families, and friends to contribute original artwork that visually conveys this theme.

If you are interested in joining a support group, use the IMF's worldwide support group directory to find one that meets near you. You can also join our online support group.

If you have a topic of particular interest that you would like us to feature, if you are starting a support group, or if you are in a support group that is doing something to make a real difference in the lives of mutiple myeloma patients and their families and friends, let us know.


Upcoming Seminars and Conferences:
  • IXth Annual International Workshop On Multiple Myeloma
    May 23-27, 2003
    Salamanca, Spain
    Every two years, the myeloma scientific community gathers from around the world to discuss the state of the art in myeloma treatment and research. This year they are meeting in the ancient and beautiful city of Salamanca.

Upcoming Fundraisers:

FUNdraising Made Easy
You know you want to do something, but deciding on what to do can be confusing. The IMF can help.

March Madness Basketball Fundraiser
March 21, 2003
Sharon, MA
Fashions 4 a Cure
April 6, 2003
Fox Valley Country Club, Lancaster, NY

Valued at $1,200.00, this cabochon sapphire and diamond ring, donated by Adler Jewelry and The Circle of Friends, will be raffled off at Fashions 4 a Cure

4th Annual JC Invitation Golf Tournament
May 17, 2003
Wapicada Golf Course, Sauk Rapids, MN

"Hair Cares"
June 22, 2003
Curries Hair, Skin & Nail Salon, Glen Mills, PA

5th Annual Corporate Challenge
June 30, 2003
Stamford, CT
Robert Kyle Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner
August 2, 2003
Rochester, MN
Mile High March for Myeloma
August 16, 2003
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Corporate Cup Challenge
August 26, 2003
Naperville, IL
Ribbon of Hope Making A World of Difference Anniversary Gala
October 4, 2003
Seattle, WA

Exciting Opportunities:
  • Multiple Myeloma Quilt of Courage
    The second quilt is up and it's beautiful. Squares for the 3rd quilt are past due, so those of you who are working on them, please get them in. There are still a few squares left for the 4th and final quilt. If you would like one, email Suzanne Battaglia (sbattaglia@myeloma.org).
  • Make it Valentine's Day every day courtesy of IMFers Esther and Herman Adler, of Adler & Company Jewelers in Los Angeles. Buy beautiful jewelry at wholesale prices and—if you tell them you are an IMFer—a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the IMF. They make it so easy, too. They can work from digital pictures if you cannot meet with them, and they have a return policy if you are not completely satisfied. Call them at 213-624-1945 for more information.

Items of Interest:
  • HealthTalk Webcast of "Dexamethasone-Thalidomide Trial for Multiple Myeloma"
    What do the latest studies show using the combination "Thal-Dex" therapy? And are there some patients where Thalidomide shows promise used alone and sooner after diagnosis? Here the perspective of a leading expert, Dr. Vincent Rajkumar from the Mayo Clinic, in an in-depth interview recorded by HealthTalk at the American Society of Hematology meeting in December.
  • Myeloma Matrix
    The Myeloma Matrix provides updated information about drugs beginning with pre-clinical developments and tracks drugs as they proceed through Phases I – III of clinical trials, drugs that have been FDA approved, and information on trials that are being conducted by NCI- sponsored cooperative groups as well as other myeloma study groups. The online version is updated regularly. If you would like to have a printed copy, call the toll-free hotline (800) 452-2873.
  • NexCura Cancer Profiler
    The Cancer Profiler is a free service (no hidden fees or charges). Its tools provide you with information specific to your cancer diagnosis to help you make more informed treatment decisions along with your physician.
  • Expert Opinions on Multiple Myeloma
    A multimedia, CME-accredited program for physicians with the chance to see world-renowned myeloma specialists sharing their knowledge, discussing treatment choices, and comparing their perspectives on controversial issues in multiple myeloma and related diseases.
  • MMInteractive
    An exciting new way for myeloma patients to get involved at patient seminars.
  • Bank On A Cure
    The IMF is pleased to announce the launch of Bank On A Cure™, a groundbreaking international collaborative effort to establish a method to find new treatments while customizing care for current patients.
  • Myeloma At The Movies
    It has been our goal to bring our Patient & Family Seminars to people around the country who might not be able to attend an actual meeting, so we have set up a video lending library....

Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Please consider showing your support by making a tax-deductible donation today. Donations in honor of a friend or family member make great gifts and are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion. You can donate online or by calling the IMF at (800) 452-CURE. We sincerely thank you for your support.

Tell A Friend...
The Myeloma Minute is a great way to stay abreast of the latest developments within the myeloma community. We hope you'll share this information with friends, family members and physicians and encourage them to sign up for their own copy by forwarding this message. New users can register by clicking here.


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